FODS is­sue blue­print

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

THE Friends of the Dou­glas Shire will hold a pub­lic meet­ing later this month to out­line its blue­print to de-amal­ga­mate from Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil.

FODS is hop­ing the state elec­tion due in March will clear the way for de-amal­ga­ma­tion, with both the LNP and Kat­ter’s Aus­tralia Party giv­ing com­mit­ments for a lo­cal vote on the is­sue.

The pub­lic meet­ing, to be held at the old Moss­man Shire Hall on Mon­day, De­cem­ber 12, will out­line a po­ten­tial path­way to de-amal­ga­ma­tion, present a model which demon­strates the likely costs and ta­ble the pos­si­ble struc­ture of a new coun­cil and gov­er­nance plan.

Guest speak­ers will in­clude Robert Hanan and Michael Gabour rep­re­sent­ing FODS, former Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil mayor Mike Berwick and former coun­cil man­ager David Carey.

Politi­cians from La­bor, the LNP, the Aus­tralia Party and the Greens have also been in­vited to speak and the com­mu­nity will have the op­por­tu­nity to have their say.

FODS spokesman Michael Gabour said the pub­lic meet­ing would be an ideal op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to voice its op­po­si­tion to amal­ga­ma­tion.

“The ul­ti­mate out­come of that meet­ing is for a re­turn to the former Dou­glas Shire - we need to break away from the Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil,” he said.

“This has to be done so that we can once again con­trol our own des­tiny, set our own poli­cies that af­fect our re­gion.

“What we have at present, is a lo­cal govern­ment with nine coun­cil­lors hav­ing no con­nec­tion to this re­gion.

“FODS has en­deav­oured, dur­ing the past four years to present the dele­te­ri­ous ef­fects of amal­ga­ma­tion on the com­mu­nity.

“De­ci­sions made by a ma­jor­ity of CRC coun­cil­lors have shown, by their vot­ing pat­terns, con­tempt for what Dou­glas stands for.”

The Aus­tralia Party’s can­di­date for Cook Lach­lan Ben­sted said his party would hold a ref­er­en­dum in the Dou­glas re­gion within 90 days if it wins of­fice.

“There was a huge cost of amal­ga­ma­tion and many res­i­dents are telling me that they are worse off since amal­ga­ma­tion,” he said.

FODS will be hold­ing the pub­lic meet­ing from 6pm on De­cem­ber 12 at the Old Moss­man Shire Hall in Mill St.

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